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Communication Theories

Case Study Four

1. Social stereotypes create diverse roles for men and women, and thus form gender discrimination that limits women’s potential. According to social stereotypes, women perform jobs that require less physical efforts. Suzanne and Rebecca Truman take mundane jobs including managing snacks for soldiers and paperwork. Lt. Meyers’s behavior towards Suzanne is rude and demeaning, yet he addresses male colleagues with respect. The tendency of men taking top positions and doing hard jobs and women performing simple tasks is a form of descriptive prejudice. SSGT Lakey solves the conflict but does not advocate Suzanne, thus condoning Lt. Meyers’s behavior.

2. In an emotional intelligence test, I would rank SSGT Lakey first and then Suzanne and Lt. Meyers respectively. SSGT Lakey has higher emotional intelligence and solves the conflict between Suzanne and Lt. Meyers before it could escalate to destructive stages. Lt. Meyers does not possess self-awareness skills, social skills or communication etiquette. Suzanne ranks average on an emotional intelligence scale. Suzanne’s social skills and self-awareness enable her to establish relationships at work and also defend her rights. Although Lt. Meyers is a senior officer, Suzanne fights back in a civilized manner. Unlike Lt. Meyers, Suzanne is not impulsive and regulates her reactions.

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3. Suzanne and SSGT Robinson employ convectional design logic. Suzanne and MSGT Robinson understand the relationship, roles, and also employ strong communication skills. MSGT Robinson can understand Suzanne’s concerns about the behavior portrayed by Lt. Meyers. People with similar message design logics acknowledge communication problems and avoid further conflicts. Lt. Meyers’s expressive design logic causes conflict as he directly expresses his disrespect for women and even files a complaint after causing the conflict. People with different MDLs have poor problem-solving skills and blame each other for their problems. Majority believes that the conflicting party had bad intentions.

Case Study Five

1. Lily’s promotion to sector senior manager forced her to maintain a different image, which has affected her relationship with Mia. At first, Lily could not tell Mia that they could not meet more often and gossip because of changes at work. When Mia is transferred to her department, Lily tries not to maintain contact with Mia in order to avoid biased attitude from the other employees, who may claim that Mia is favored. Later, Lily admits the challenge to Mia, and the friends agree to meet only in the club and separate personal relationship from professional.

2. Lily and Mia have a personal, social, and professional relationship. Lily and Mia provide unconditional professional and emotional support to each other. Lily relies on Mia’s advice before making decisions, and the relationship is beneficial to both parties. Mia and Lily’s friendship will be broken if Lily dismisses Mia. The friendship and relationship between Mia and Lily can be solved if Ben fires Mia instead of Lily. Mia will blame Ben, not Lily.

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3. Internal dialectics appearing in the case include openness verse closeness and autonomy verse connection. Lily had to make a choice to remain connected and open or closed and autonomous. Lily also had to choose between revealing to Mia the situation or concealing the information and letting Ben dismiss Mia.

4. Lily and Mia share both private organization information and personal information. They have developed personal and collective boundaries. Personal boundaries contain individual information, while collective boundaries explain information that they are willing to share. Mia and Lily trust each other with the information they share. However, the relationship develops boundary turbulence when Mia moves to Lily’s department. Lily has to avoid Mia during office hours to ensure equal treatment for all employees.

5. The Communication Privacy Theory best explains the conflict between Lily and Mia. Lily and Mia have a professional and personal relationship and set boundaries to govern the relationship. The Politeness theory can also be used to evaluate the case study. Lily has to be polite with Mia during her conflicts, while Ben, on the other hand, is rude and unapologetic. Ben puts Lily in a complicated position where she has to dismiss Mia.

Case Study Six

1. Hofstede’s uncertainty versus avoidance dimension best explains the conflict in the case. The Granovetter church attracts thousands of tourists. One group, the Marzu group, disrupts the tour guides and does not follow rules. However, the church management avoids confronting the group uncertain of the outcome.

2. Mark accommodates Yushiko’s lack of authority and the disruptive behavior caused by her tour group. Yushiko, the director of the Japanese Marzu group, had to accommodate Mark’s demands as she had no authority over the group.

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3. Different people react to strangers in different ways. In the case, the Church is tolerant and empathetic to the Marzu group. Mindful communication is the necessity of effective communication. Mindful communication is thoughtful and conscious behavior while dealing with a conflict or a stranger. Effective communication occurs when the message is interpreted as intended and hence causes no conflict or misunderstandings. Gudykunst requires that Mark and Yushiko accommodate and also address the complaints raised.

4. Mark and Yushiko employed four conflict management styles that are collaborate, compromise, accommodate, and avoid. Mark reveals that Yushiko’s authority is limited and she may not be able to solve the problem created by the tour group. Yushiko offers Mark to address the local director, who might solve the problem. Mark and Yushiko have to continue working together despite the conflicts.

5. The face-negotiation theory identifies culture as an aspect of conflict management. The theory is effective in explaining the case. Rather than avoid, Mark and Yushiko have to accommodate, compromise, and collaborate. North Americans’ conflict management styles have varying levels of cooperation and assertiveness. Yushiko is limited by the hierarchies in her company. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions can also be used to explain the difference in conflict management between the American and Japanese culture.  

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